originally posted on LabSpaces

Okay, so I was all set to go with another string of gripes for my blog post today (yeah, it’s getting old for me, too). But then I saw this post from Arlenna at Chemical BiLOLogy…and my mood was immediately lifted. It’s her blog question for Nobel Prize winner Harry Kroto, “who originally discovered the strange but fascinating Buckyball structure of carbon (C60, aka fullerene).” I’ll go no more into this aspect of her piece, because, well, I sucked at organic chemistry…I mean I really sucked at it. For this same reason, though, I am absolutely fascinated with the topic of her question – these guys, called NanoPutians, or NanoKids:

Defined by Wikipedia, NanoPutians “are a series of organic molecules whose structural formulae appear human”. Evidently, this guy James Tour in 2003 got worried about his daughter’s lack of interest in science, in particular chemistry. As an organic chemist specializing in nanotechnology, he decided to do something about it – and now we have these little guys. Included in the NanoPutian family are NanoAthlete, NanoGreenBeret, and even NanoTexan. You should also check out the space-filling models, which make these guys look, oh, so lifelike. I know they’re aimed at kids, but the chemical synthesis of these guys may have alone been enough to get me a little more on board with organic chemistry when in college. Hell, I’m kinda tempted right now to go figure out how all the electron pushing might go (just as soon as I finish the twenty other things piled up on my desk ;). So the latest mood swing has been staved off yet another day, thanks to some little stick-figure kids.


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